Levelling Up Your Small Business? Here’s How You Can Keep Risk To A Minimum

When you are thinking about taking your business to the next level, whether that is through growth or expansion, there are always going to be some risks involved. The cliché of “nothing ventured, nothing gained” is certainly true, but we have all been through too much over the course of the pandemic to take a big swing without being confident that it is going to work. Caution is vitally important right now, especially as Brexit supply issues, worker shortages, worries about the length of vaccine effectiveness, and rising pandemic cases continue to make headlines.

But there are always ways that you can cut down on risks. Opportunities that you can explore to give your business the best possible chance of a good outcome. If you want your business to grow in the months ahead, the key will be finding the balance between taking those risks and giving yourself the tools and expertise that will give you good odds. Here are a few ways that you can make sure that you are in the best place to succeed in your next steps.

Don’t Rush Anything

A lot of business owners love setting deadlines. They want to fix a date in the calendar, and it is easy to see why. It inspires confidence that their goals are achievable among the staff and the stakeholders. It gives everyone something to work towards. But we have seen time and time again during the pandemic that the virus does not care about arbitrary dates. If you are pushing for moves towards expansion, try to avoid hitting the accelerator for no good reason. 

Make sure that you talk to your teams and advisors to get realistic timeframes for your big projects and remember that if you are relying on, say, external contractors for deliveries, there are going to be factors beyond your control. Moving forward is crucial but don’t paint yourself into a corner by giving yourself a deadline that will hurt you if you don’t meet it. Similarly, why race to return to the office if your team is doing just fine working remotely? Given the concerns about the coming Autumn, it will make more sense to ensure that everyone is comfortable working from home and has all the tools they need instead of rushing back and risking new restrictions or another pingdemic throwing a spanner in the works. 

Give Yourself The Skills You Need

Things are going to be tough out there for small businesses for some time yet and we don’t need to tell you that hard times make for fierce competition. Everyone is fighting as hard as they can to stay afloat, and as we move into the Autumn, it is not going to be enough to rely on instincts and past experience. You need to make sure that you and your business are actively looking for ways to learn and to boost your skill set. We’ll get onto the ways that you can help to give your employees some extra tools and time in a moment, but if you are looking to expand or to pursue partnerships with other companies, then you need to think about how you can improve yourself. 

Will this be the first time that you will be sitting across from another business owner hammering out a high-stakes agreement? If so, you should look at improving your negotiation skills. A negotiation skills course can teach you strategies and techniques and it will help you to find your own strategy based on your own personality and skill set.

Deploy Technology That Saves You Time

Any small business owner will tell you that every project is a race against the clock. Given how brutal the market is right now and the fears of a pandemic income hangover year, every hour and every minute that we can claw back is of huge importance. With that in mind, it is high time that you start exploring how new and emerging software can be used to take the pressure off you and your employees and give you some breathing room. 

Take customer service, for example. For all the reasons that we have mentioned, good customer service is absolutely vital right now. You can’t afford to lose business because someone missed a message or did not have the right information at the right moment. Something as simple as an AI chatbot can make a big difference. These bots will greet a visitor to your website as soon as they land on your page, and they can be programmed to answer the most common queries and alert a staff member if needed. AI software will also be invaluable to any digital marketing strategies. They can comb through mountains of customer data to locate the information you need and help you to create a more targeted, focused plan. 

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